Former Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone listens as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final public hearing to discuss the findings of an 18-month investigation in Washington in December 2022. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A Capitol rioter who is accused of assaulting law-enforcement officers and using a stun gun on the neck of Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone pleaded guilty to charges related to the attack on Tuesday.
Daniel Rodriguez, a 38-year-old resident of California, pleaded guilty to four of the eight charges against him stemming from the attack on the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021. NBC News reports Rodriguez pleaded to assaulting a law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon, evidence tampering, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction.
According to Rodriguez's indictment from the Justice Department, Rodriguez conspired with others across the United States to travel together to Washington, D.C., ahead of Jan. 6. They were prompted by social media posts from then-President Donald Trump, including one that said "Big protest in D.C. on Jan. 6th. Be there, will be wild!"
Rodriguez and others communicated throughout the Capitol attack by cell phone and radio, the indictment said. Once rioters breached the Capitol Building, Rodriguez entered and was involved in multiple skirmishes with law enforcement officers. When Fanone, an officer of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, was pulled from a line of police into the crowd of rioters, Rodriguez applied a stun gun to his neck and stunned him twice, leaving the officer unconscious.
Before and after the attack, Rodriguez posted messages to various pro-Trump social media groups calling for the violent removal of "traitors" and celebrating his actions on Jan. 6. He posted he would "assassinate Joe Biden," if given the opportunity. In reference to using a stun gun on Fanone, Rodriguez said he tased "the blue."
Rodriguez is scheduled for sentencing on May 16, ABC News reports. A Justice Department attorney told ABC News that the court could seek a terrorism enhancement for Rodriguez, increasing the penalty against him.
In October, 43-year-old Albequerque Head of Tennessee was sentenced to 90 months in prison for dragging Fanone into the crowd of rioters.
Fanone was among the key witnesses to testify to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot last year.
A video of former President Donald Trump is shown as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final public hearing to discuss the findings of an 18-month investigation on December 19, 2022. Pool photo by Al Drago/UPI | License Photo